Shock, which hit newsstands here on May 30, was a bid by Hachette to bring something new to American readers: a visually driven title with virtually no ads, plenty of consumer-contributed pictures and no print-edition subscriptions available. "We might open up a new category here," Jack Kliger, Hachette's president-CEO, said back in February.
Gamble hadn't worked
In a statement today, Mr. Kliger indicated that the gamble hadn't worked. "We wanted to test the French magazine's concept in the U.S.," he said. "However, after six months in the marketplace, Shock's performance at newsstands has not produced trends that indicate that we will get the returns that we are looking for."
Shock, in fact, gained the most notoriety for using on its inaugural cover a photo of an American soldier cradling an injured Iraqi girl; the photographer called the image's use "unauthorized and unwelcome," then launched an online effort to boycott Hachette titles.
Like some other magazines shut down this year, including Hachette's Elle Girl, Shock will continue to live online at shocku.com. "The website has shown real energy," Mr. Kliger said, "and connection with this young demographic and the 41 page-views-per-visitor-session is one of the highest for websites at Hachette."
There was no immediate word on the future of Editor in Chief Mike Hammer, a former Stuff editor, and the rest of the small staff devoted to Shock. Its February issue, out Dec. 26, will be the last in print.